Love, Laughter, and Limoncello
Remi-Victoria Cuce and Matthew Owen
Wedding Date: February 24th, 2023
Congrats again on getting married. First, could you tell us about how you met, any funny first date stories and a bit about the proposal?
We first met through mutual friends when we were both in Year 12 (2011). After four years of friendship (and clearly years of thoroughly enjoying each other's company), we went on our first official date in October of 2015.
The first couple of times we went out, we would go out for a nice dinner and then somehow end up bar/club hopping on Chapel St. Just the two of us out dancing and laughing together until 4am... usually ending up at Revellers having those terrible blue drinks!!
Fast forward six and half years to March 18th, 2022, Remi had just arrived home from work. Little did she know that Matt had finished work early that day; he had been home for hours. As she walked down their driveway toward the front door, she heard their song, (Shut Up and Dance - Walk the Moon) playing. 'Oh great, Matt must be cleaning!', she thought to herself, as we would often play the song to make household chores less tedious. When Remi opened the door, she was met with an array of photos hanging from the ceiling, and a nervous Matt standing at the end of the display. After she made her way through their treasured memories from the last six and a half years together, Matt dropped to one knee, and she said YES!
What was the best advice you were given about planning a wedding? Where to start, what's important, how to make it personal to the two of you...
Regardless of how much you plan, you can't control everything and there may be minor hiccups, but it will still be the best day ever!
It's YOUR wedding, make sure it's what YOU want.
In a few sentences, how would you describe your wedding day?
Nothing short of magical; amazing, and absolutely perfect. It was everything we wanted and more. It was a perfect Summer's day, the weather was warm and sunny, truly highlighting the beauty of Lindenderry's gardens, and it was so special celebrating with our wonderful family and friends.
Knowing what you know now, what is the best decision you made about your wedding
Other than deciding to marry each other, the best decision was honestly choosing Lindenderry as our venue, we couldn't imagine our day being anywhere but there.
Other important decisions that were a success was having a videographer, in conjunction with a photographer, and having roaming dessert instead of plated as this allowed people to get up and dance earlier in the night - with wedding cake, chocolate brownie and mini-cannoli in hand.
This one may be controversial, but we are 100% Team DJ rather than band. The D Floor didn't stop from the moment it started. We still wanted a live element so we also had a saxophone player to accompany the DJ.
Knowing what you know now, is there anything you would have had higher on your 'level of importance' or would decrease on the 'level of importance'?
As we can both have perfectionist tendencies (albeit in different ways/for different things)... together we gave 110% to every element of wedding planning, and we'd honestly probably struggle to not do so, as everything was of high level importance in our minds. It's a very special day and you want everyone to have the best time. With amazing assistance from Lindenderry's Wedding and Events Co-ordinator, Serena, the entire day was incredible and in hindsight, despite perhaps overthinking a few things here and there, we don't regret our approach at all!
What was the deciding factor for choosing Lindenderry Red Hill?
It was a combination of the evident beauty of Lindenderry, and the confidence and trust we had in the Lindenderry team even from our very first visit when we were still deciding on a wedding venue.
Throughout our first visit we were provided with knowledgeable answers to all our questions; it was evident that they had experience in delivering individually curated weddings, and that the team would go above and beyond to make our day special. Lindenderry was actually the first venue we viewed, and by the end of that day, after having seen a few other venues around the Mornington Peninsula, we agreed that we both knew that Lindenderry was our venue and we didn't need to look any further.
Did you write your own vows?
Yes, we did! This was something that was important to us, and luckily our Priest had no issue with us including this element in our ceremony. We wanted the ceremony to be personalised to us and our relationship, rather than just a generic ceremony.
Now that you are married, what's the best piece of advice you can give other couples?
The effort you put in, and all the planning and working with the wedding cordinator, will guarantee success on the day - i.e. we promise it's worth all the effort. BUT - also remember that the most important part of the day is that you are marrying your person!
Continually make time through the reception and prioritise spending time with each other as much as you can. An example of this is at the end of the night, whilst all our guests went outside to prepare for our sparkler exit, we had a final slow dance with no one else in the room. This was such a special moment and a great way to end the most magical day.
Did you scrap or stick to any wedding traditions?
We ditched some wedding traditions, for example, we didn't do a bouquet toss or a garter toss. We also kept some traditions - Remi did 'the something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue'. We also had the night before apart and didn't speak to each other the morning of/until we met at the top of the aisle which made that moment even more special. Then we also took some traditions and made them our own - we had a bridal table, but ditched the exclusively bridal party tradition, and instead opted for having the bridal party's partners (or some of our other close friends) sitting opposite our bridal party members; keeping a space in front of us facing out to the rest of our guests. We also stuck with the tradition of Remi's dad walking her down the aisle, but then her mum met her and her dad at the top of the aisle for the "giving away" aspect. For the ceremony and cocktail hour we chose a classical string-trio, but had them play Beyonce, etc., again, modernising a traditional aspect (and implementing Bridgerton soundtrack vibes!)
What is your fondest memory from your wedding day?
EVERY. SINGLE. PART.
Rom the pre-ceremony excitement, up until and including drinks and snacks with the Bridal Party and Parents at the end of the night in the wedding exclusive wing of the hotel, the entire day was an absolute high, and we constantly smile when we think about any and every moment of our day.
A particularly funny and unexpected moment that we often laugh about occurred during the middle of the main course. The DJ was taking a break and had "Don't Wanna Miss a Thing" (Areosmith) playing in the background. By the end of the song, we and our guests were standing up at our tables belting out the lyrics, as if Steve Tyler were in the room giving a performance. Think of that classic, "Say a Little Prayer for You" restaurant scene from my "Best Friend's Wedding", a spontaneous and passionate group performance that came from nowhere - very funny and made us all very excited to get on the dancefloor later in the night!
What do you think Lindenderry offered above & beyond the other venues you considered?
The grounds are nothing short of spectacular, and they provide a beautiful backdrop for a fairy tale wedding. The long, grand aisle lined by beautiful trees and surrounded by rose bushes and the vineyard was just gorgeous and definitely caught our attention when we first visited. This particular location made for an unforgettable ceremony backdrop and easily won us over. In conjunction with this, the reception location offered us generous space, and was quite a blank canvas meaning that we could make it our own. We particularly loved the purpose built recess in the ceiling, which allowed our florist (Little Stag Floral Couture) to install a stunning large floral arrangement on the day
The food and beverage team were extremely accommodating, they even made a special vegetarian pasta as requested by Remi, and they consistently demonstrated that nothing was too difficult. All the food was absolutely delicious!
Serena, the Wedding and Events Coordinator was also a stand-out! Serena's knowledge and her ability to curate and deliver an incredible wedding for us was truly incomparable. Her communication through the entire lead-up was fantastic and timely, and she was an absolute superstar on the day!
Finish these sentences:
The best (or most unique) thing we did at our wedding was...
We saw a lot of advice on not to waste our money or time on wedding favours because no one keeps them/takes them/etc., so instead of taking this advice, we did the complete opposite, and put a lot of effort into our wedding favours. We gave people homemade limoncello paying homage to Remi's Italian heritage. We bottled and wax sealed over 150 bottles, labelling each one with a custom designed monogram. We had a family "bottling night" (i.e. production line) which turned into an event in itself and was lots of fun. Lucky for us, the effort paid off - they were an absolute hit with guests, and gave another pop of colour to our tables.
We splurged on:
The flowers, and in particular the massive ceiling installation which looked incredible. We also hired a videographer as well as a photographer, and added some additional entertainment lighting on the dance floor. We are so happy that we did these things!
Best advice you were given by the venue:
After our intense approach to planning, they said, "Enjoy the day, it will go quickly - leave it to us, we've got this!"
We overestimated the importance of:
Running exactly to schedule. Matt loves a schedule and an excel spreadsheet. He was told to not look at his watch at all and just enjoy the day, rather than worrying about being on "schedule" as it was not his job that day. The Lindenderry team was fantastic at adapting as required. We had to move a couple of speeches to after dinner, but this was no big deal and we still were on the dance floor by 9pm.
We underestimated the importance of:
Eating when you can, and quickly when you do! It is a busy night; people want to talk to you and you need to squeeze in sunset photos, speeches, etc., so look lovingly at your partner whilst you shovel food into your mouths as soon as it is served!!!